The European Union and India

The European Union and India

Rhetoric or Meaningful Partnership?

Pascaline Winand, Marika Vicziany and Poonam Datar

This multi-disciplinary book provides a comprehensive analysis of the EU–India relationship from 1950 to the present day, as a way of assessing whether a meaningful and sustainable relationship is emerging and whether it will play a role in the future of international diplomacy and business.

Chapter 7: Why European cows are the envy of poor Indian farmers

Marika Vicziany

Subjects: asian studies, asian politics and policy, politics and public policy, european politics and policy, international relations


A recent report by the Carnegie Foundation on the nature of European Union (EU)–India engagement noted that many wish lists had been generated and many discussions taken place, but in-depth engagement with a broader audience in the EU was missing (von Muenchow-Pohl 2012, p. 37). No wonder negotiations between the EU and India have stalled. This was in contrast to the many Indian lobbies that existed in the US and which helped to ‘tilt’ US policies in the direction of India and away from Pakistan. In our interview with the Indian Ambassador to the EU (Interview with Indian Ambassador, Brussels, November 2011) a similar point was made from an Indian perspective – India’s experts were informed about the EU but the general public in India was not. Exacerbating this lack of regular and broadly based information exchange is the perception amongst some Indian observers that crucial information about EU–India trade deals are being kept secret and that vital information is being withheld from public scrutiny. This chapter focuses on the Indian farming lobbies, the interests that they represent, and how these interests enter into the current and future state of EU–India relations. In the following chapter we analyze the nature of EU and Indian interests from the perspective of EU–India trade and investment. To begin with, however, we discuss the views of India’s intellectual elites on the subject of EU–India economic relations.

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